John Scott was born in Ipswich, England, on May 10, 1850, and when he was a small child, his family moved to Windsor, Ontario, before settling in Detroit.
Scott became an architect, like his father, and joined the family business. After his father retired in 1889, the firm was renamed John Scott & Co. W. Hawkins Ferry wrote in his "The Buildings of Detroit" that Scott took in a young Albert Kahn as an apprentice, but let the budding superstar go because he didn't think Kahn had a future in the business. It was perhaps his greatest oversight. His greatest accomplishment was the Old Wayne County Building (1902), but he also designed a number of other commercial structures in Detroit.
In 1886, Scott designed an Arts & Craft-style home on Ferry Street, where he lived with his wife Emma Woodward. This home still stands today, and is part of the Inn at Ferry Street. In 1914, The couple retired to Avon Township, Mich., today known as the city of Rochester Hills. John Scott died on Dec. 8, 1928, and was buried in Mt. Avon Cemetery.
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